Posts Tagged ‘Asus Eee PC’

Orange Mobile Broadband Dongle and Ubuntu

17, March 2011

I decided I wanted to use my Asus eeePC 704 netbook during my lunch hour at work on the net so after doing some research and finding little help on the net I decided I’d just take the plunge and sign up for a cheap Orange dongle as they offer a £5 a month discount to there PAYG mobile phone customer. I have the E1752 HUAWEI usb dongle which it says will, plug in for instant internet access,
* use with a PC or Mac
* use it at home or on the go
* supports speeds up to 7.2Mbps (download) and up to 2.0Mbps (upload) subject to network availability

I get a free dongle, 1GB of anytime access and 1GB of quiet time access [between 00:00 to 16:00] which is normally £15 pcm on a 1 year contract for £10pcm.

Orange HUAWEI E1752 Dongle

Orange HUAWEI E1752 Dongle

It arrived the day after I ordered it and took a phone call to Orange to activate it before I could start using it. The activation worked straight away and needed me to provide them with the phone number of the dongle [on the box] a password [that I had setup during the telephone ordering process], id details and to confirm the IMEI number of the SIM card.

The eeePC is running EasyPeasy v1.6 at the moment which is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) with an Xfce Desktop, my internet search had found that I needed to add the usb-modeswitch package to the PC to start with see here. Although the program was already available from the Synaptic Package Manager on my PC and I therefore installed it with;

$ sudo apt-get install usb-modeswitch

[I found that on my other laptop currently running Xubuntu Natty 11.04 development edition the usb-modeswitch option was not required as the Network Manager picked up the dongle] out of the box.

I then rebooted the laptop switched off the inbuilt wifi card [Fn F2 on the eeePC] inserted the dongle and right clicked on the Network Manager, selecting to [Edit Connections] then the [Mobile Broadband] tab, click [Add] and on my eeePC it said on the next screen “create a connection for this mobile broadband device:”, giving the only option of;
HUAWEI Technology HUAWEI Mobile
so I clicked on [Forward]
accepted the Country as Britain [UK] and clicked [Forward]
selected Orange and clicked [Forward]
again accepted the plan as Contract and [Forward]
and finally [Apply].
I then closed the Network Manager and when I left clicked on the Network Manager icon the dongle shows under [Mobile Broadband] as Orange Contract 1.
Clicking on this option then connected me to the Internet.

If the dongle is not recognised you may find starting the laptop up with the dongle in the USB slot works better and I found that it had to be in a specific slot on my Sony laptop, disconnect any other USB devices while you test.

Network Traffic Monitor
The next problem is how to monitor your data usage so you don’t go over the limits of your package and get changed for doing so. I found a useful program called NTM [Network Traffic Monitor] at, I downloaded a .deb package [55kB] and installed it. the program sits in your system tray monitoring your traffic, make sure it’s monitoring ppp0 which you can set by right clicking the icon and selecting [Preferences] then just set up your options, it can cut you off when a limit is reached or time etc. and if you left click it you get an updating display of your current usage.

Wammu SMS Manager

The Orange site also lets you monitor your usage but not in real time, as I already monitor my PAYG mobile on the Orange site I decided to add the dongle account. This was not as easy as I first thought because once you add the phone number of your dongle the site then sends a registration code via SMS to your dongle so that you can continue. The Windows software that is installed on the dongle includes a SMS Manager so you could do this part on a Windows PC but I wanted to do it via linux. After several hours Google searching I found a program that reads SMS messages from a selection of Mobile phones and dongles. The program is called Wammu and is available from the Synaptic Package Manager in Lucid and above. It also needs gammu running in the background but does not add this automatically. I installed both with;

$ sudo apt-get install gammu

$ sudo apt-get install wammu

Wammu then shows up in the [Accessories] menu and when started up asks you to make sure your phone is connected to continue with the configuration wizard. I selected the [automatically search for phone] option and told it the phone was connected via a usb cable and after a while it asked me to select one of the 2 options it had found, I selected the at19200 option and it then asked me to name it and finish. I found on my other Sony laptop that I had to move the dongle to the right hand USB ports before Wammu could locate it. The settings show the dongle as being on /dev/ttyUSB1. Wammu then returns you to the default window but does not connect automatically. Select the [Phone] top menu item then [Connect] then the [Retrieve] top menu item then [Messages] to download your messages. you can now register the dongle on orange and retreive the SMS with the registration number to continue the registration process. You can also send SMS via this program.

Once you log into your Orange account and select your Mobile broadband account you can check your usage using the button at the top of the screen labelled [View your remaining minutes & texts], from the 2 option then given, select [View the balance of your bundles]. You may want to note the “Your next bill date is” date as the end of the month did not match what I was expecting and the remaining Mb had therefore been adjusted to this end date.

Orange Turn Off Safesurf
I found quite early on with my surfing that the dongle has Safesurf enabled which seems to block all the forum’s I like to surf [and no they are not adult] including the Ubuntu Forum, to remove this annoying option visit your online Orange Account as above. Once in the main broadband page note the padlock icon below the “Pay Monthly” title, this is the Safeguard, Parental Controls button and is by default turned on. Click on it and accept the option to turn the controls off. This updates your access to the web immediately. Happy Surfing …

Jaunty Ubuntu NBR – favourites

29, August 2009

Using Ubuntu NBR [Jaunty], When I right clicked on Firefox 3 icon in “Favorites” and selected “Remove”, nothing happend. Other icons can be removed and added but not this one. Could it be because I had aready removed Firefox 3 in synaptic in order to install Firefox 3.5? The answer was to remove the icon file firefox-fav.desktop from /usr/share/applications/ using the [terminal] as follows.

sudo rm /usr/share/applications/firefox-fav.desktop

Ubuntu NBR – Asus Eee 701

17, May 2009

My Eee Pc is the 701 4GB version and I’m running Jaunty with a Gnome desktop on my PC

I downloaded the Ubuntu Jaunty J v9.04 img shortly after it was released in April 2009 and then burnt it to a USB stick using a program called USB-ImageWriter which I downloaded by adding it’s repository details from here to my desktop PC. There is currently no Jaunty version available but the Intrepid version works. In a Terminal type or copy and paste the following after the prompt;

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.backup

This makes a copy of your repository list, now open the list with;

gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

at the bottom of the list add the following 2 lines for Intrepid from the site or update them for Jaunty when they become available;

deb intrepid main

deb-src intrepid main

now save the file and back in the Terminal window copy and paste:
sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver 0x2f5e654186577485b7b4440290345e8d2fef0ce2
This adds the repositories authentication key to your system, no copy and paste the following

sudo apt-get update

This updates the source list and you will now find have packages usb-imagewriter is  available in the Synaptic Package Manager to be added to your system or you can add it using the following command;

sudo apt-get install usb-imagewriter

This application will now have an icon named ImageWriter in the [Applications], [Accessories] menu.

Make sure the .img file you are going to copy to USB stick is in your home folder and not within a folder which has spaces in it’s name and that the .img file also has no spaces in it’s name. If you run Imagewriter and nothing happens this is the first thing to recheck as it gives no error messages for this problem. Now insert the USB stick you want to add the .img to and open ImageWriter. select the .img file you wish to write then the USB stick you want to write it to and select [Write to device].

Now plug your USB stick into your Eee Pc and power it up, as it starts up hit the [Esc] key until a menu displays giving you the option to boot from the internal SD Card or the USB stick, select the stick and Ubuntu will boot. Select the Live version if you wish to try before installing or select install if you are good to go. Follow the on screen install insturctions, I let it do a standard whole hard drive install.

Install finished and PC rebooted you should now have a slighlty jerky version of Ubuntu to play with, get your WiFi or cable network connected then do the following to sort that out.

First go to this site and download the latest linux image & header files, i used the ones dated 21st April, but there may be new versions now,

linux-image-2.6.28-11-generic_2.6.28-11.43~lp349314apw5_i386.deb and


Now navigate to the folder you downloaded them to and douple click on them, [Package installer] should then open and give you the option to install. Install both and re boot the PC and you should now have a working PC.

It’s worth remembering that if your webcam does not work, check in the bios [press F2 on start up] that the installation is “finished” and that the webcam in enabled.

Check out this post if you want to change the size of some of the application screen, it work for me.

First Post

16, May 2009

OK Hi,

This is my first post on this blog just to get it started….

I decided as I update my various PC & laptops I will update this blog with details to help me remember how I did it and hopefully help others.

I have now been using Ubuntu Jaunty J since it was released in April and Ubuntu as an O/S since Fiesty way back in September 2007, quickly upgrading the Gusty after it came out in October 2007. I’ve used Windows O/S for may years but slowly started to use open source software with it and by the time I decided to move over to Linux I was already using several open source programs including Firefox, Thunderbird & OpenOffice.

So I downloaded the Jaunty Live CD and notebook NBR img release on the day after it launched in April 2009, and have since upgraded my Asus Eee PC 701 4G laptop, Sony Vaio VGN-NS11J laptop and home brew Desktop shortly after. All seems OK with a few teething troubles with Firefox which is intermittently locking and shutting down on me at the moment. This is probably caused by flash and or the fact I have transferred the settings over from the previous build.

The worst “Out Of The Box” experience was the install on the Eee laptop because the mouse & touch pad responces were very jerky and the answer was to install another Linux kernal & headers which is not a job you would expect to have to do on first install. The netbook remix look good and works OK on the Eee but still some work to do if we are to convert more Windows users. I will add a post detailing my Eee PC install later.